June 22, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

After slashing health care for poor kids, California Legislature considers subsidizing movies that push cigs to kids

The California Legislature just closed another deficit by slashing health care for poor kids and in-home services for elderly.
At the same time, two bills to authorize $100 million a year to subsidize film production -- including films with smoking -- continue to move forward.
SB 1167 (Calderon), the extending California tax credits for another five years (and $500 million) will be heard by the Senate Government and Finance Committee this Wednesday, June 27.
AB 2026 (Fuentes), a sibling bill in the Assembly, is also pending a hearing in Appropriations.
AHA and ALA are on record opposing these bills unless movies with smoking are disallowed from receiving taxpayer funds, as is the Tobacco Education and Research Oversight Committee, which is charged by law (among other things) with making fiscal recommendations related to tobacco control to the Legislature.
In a positive development, last week the AMA adopted a national resolution against subsidizing movies with smoking:

Tax Incentives and Films Depicting Tobacco (Res. 417): Adopted a California resolution which asks the AMA to urge that no tax incentives be given for any motion picture production that depicts any tobacco product or non-pharmaceutical nicotine delivery device or its use, associated paraphernalia, related trademarks or promotional material, unless the film depicts the tobacco use of historical persons or unambiguously portrays the dire health consequences of tobacco use.

California spent $75 million in tax credits on movies with smoking.

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